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RE: How to these amps generate the hundreds of volts needed...

Ohms Law provides the limit for what an amplifier running on a 12V rail can deliver into 4 Ohms, and it isn't much power!

Car amps otherwise will generate a high frequency/low voltage AC off the 12V rail and throw that through a step-up transformer. Since the frequency is nice and high, the power transformer in a car amp is usually pretty tiny and not as noticeable as the power transformer in a conventional amplifier.

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